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Gaeseong-based S. Korean firms call for gov't compensation

South Korean companies based in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong urged the government on Thursday to roll out follow-up measures to compensate damages caused by its earlier decision to indefinitely suspend the operation of the joint industrial park.

"We will ask the government to make compensations and roll out follow-up measures regarding the irresponsible decision," Jeong Gi-seob, who heads the Corporate Association of Gaeseong Industrial Complex said. "For now, we deeply resent the government's abrupt decision."

The association added it may seek a lawsuit if the government fails to properly compensate for the damages from the decision.

The South Korean government said on Wednesday it has decided to shut down the operation of a joint industrial complex in North Korea in response to Pyongyang's nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

Around 54,000 North Korean workers were employed by 124 South Korean firms with production facilities in Gaeseong.

The association plans to kick off a special team to assess the damages from the shut-down and demand the South Korean government for compensation.

Jeong added there is also a possibility for North Korea to utilize the firms' facilities in Gaeseong once it generates its own electricity.

When the industrial park was closed in 2013 for 160 days, South Korean firms reported a combined loss of 1.05 trillion won (US$873 million).

The companies, however, claim the actual damage will be greater considering the losses of business partners and credibility. (Yonhap)